Esoteric Astrology Interpretation

Probably each of us questions how we may best approach an esoteric interpretation of the astrological chart. I wonder how many of us have even interpreted our own charts in a truly esoteric manner, in keeping with the many suggestions and hints which the Tibetan has given, and in relation to that point on the Path of Return we may be treading. I was reviewing the Sagittarius chapter in Esoteric Astrology, pp.186-187. It is quoted in full below. I will interpolate some remarks in blue print. Do we here have important hints concerning how to approach esoteric chart interpretation? “Take for example the constellation which we are now considering, and remember that the same basic streams of energy will have to be [Page 186] noted in connection with every other sign in which a man may take incarnation. We find that we shall have to consider:

1. The Sun Sign.—In this case Sagittarius conditions circumstances, indicating inheritance and forcing the environment to be declarative in connection with the subject. (I find it very interesting that it is the Sun which indicates inheritance, when, traditionally, one might more probably expect the Moon. Perhaps we must consider the following from p. 436 of A Treatise on White Magic:

“The birth month indicates the day of opportunity.  The door stands open.  The particular month in which a soul comes into incarnation is indicated to that soul by the month in which it passed out of incarnation in a previous life cycle.  If it, for instance, died in the month governed by the sign Leo, it will return into incarnation in the same sign, picking up the thread of experience where it left it, and starting with the same type of energy and the peculiar equipment with which it passed away from earth life, plus the gain of thought and conscious onlooking.  The quality of the energy and the nature of the forces to be manipulated during life are indicated to the soul in this way.”

In this way, the individual ‘inherits’ the context of activity from which he departed.

The ‘inheritance’ indicated by the Moon may have much to do with reclaiming past experience for karmic redemption, but it need not necessarily be the experience of the immediately preceding incarnation. Through the Moon position much may be ‘brought forward’ which had its origin and main demonstration in more remote incarnations.

It is interesting that the Sun Sign is quoted as “forcing the environment to be declarative in connection with the subject.” It is an enigmatic phrase and needs our attention. Perhaps, it simply means that the environment reflects to us our major emanation; that the response of the environment to us is strongly related to the energy we emanate or radiate into that environment. In ostensibly similar environments, all of us, according to our nature, have different experiences and receive different impacts.

D.K. has said many quite fascinating things about even the Sun sign, taking the meaning of this astrological indicator far beyond what might be expected. We can review this at some point.

2. The Rising Sign.—The ascendant can be one of the other eleven signs. (Or for that matter, the Rising Sign can be identical with the Sun sign.)3.      The Mutable Cross.—The four energies which meet “at the midway point” and have a united and definite effect upon the subject. The same statement applies to the other two Crosses.

(Now this is a really interesting one and very important for chart interpretation. He is suggesting that even if the Sagittarius Sun many be the only position upon the Mutable Cross, the other three arms of this Cross (and their rulers) will be significant in the life of the subject and must be included in the interpretation. This particular approach is not much considered in the chart interpretations of even esoterically-inclined astrologers. Normally they interpret what is ‘there’ and not what is ‘not there’. This means that if there are planets placed in Gemini, or Virgo or Pisces, they will consider those signs important in relation to the Sagittarian subject; but if there are no planets in those signs, they will generally not consider the other Mutable Signs as important contributants to the Sagittarian life.

What does it mean to factor in Gemini, Virgo and Pisces into the life equation of a subject born with the Sun in Sagittarius? He tells us that all these energies have a “united and definite effect upon the subject”. This means that if you are a Sagittarian, the Gemini, Virgo and Pisces streams are definitely influential, and that the tendencies embodied by these signs will play upon and influence the Sagittarian subject.

How many of us have asked ourselves how much we are influenced by the other three arms of the Cross in which our Sun Sign is placed, even if there are no planets to be found in these signs. To what degree do these three other influences (if they can be detected) compare with the strength of influence of the Sun Sign?

In my own case with the Sun in Aries, I have increasingly noticed the influence of the sign Capricorn as influential. Libra and Cancer both have other planets. To what extent am I, then, supposed to consider this Capricorn influence as part of the individual equation?

Also, I think it becomes necessary to consider the arms of the Cross in their own right, independently of the planets they may ‘hold’. The constellations and their concentrated influences through the signs, are energy/gods in their own right, and have important differences of nature from even the planets most associated with them. By this I mean, for practical example, that Aries is, qualitatively, more than and different in certain significant ways from Mars, its orthodox ruler. Further it is different from Mercury and Uranus as well—quite obviously. But more subtly, Aries is different from the first ray which is transmitted through it and also from the seventh ray which is likewise transmitted through it.

An interesting problem arises in connection with the fourfold influence of a Cross. No matter what your Sun Sign may be, you will always be influenced by the other three arms of the Cross upon which your Sun Sign is found. Anyone born upon the Mutable Cross, for instance, will be influenced by all four influences and their rulers. Thus, it becomes extremely important to determine how and in what measure or degree and when this additional influence operates.

For instance, in my own case, I always detect the presence of Aries influences and behaviors, but I only sometimes detect the influence of Capricornian influences and behaviors. (And certainly of Libra, which holds Neptune the esoteric ruler of the Rising Sign, and Cancer, which holds Jupiter {the soul ray planet} and which is the Rising Sign itself}. The real test comes in evaluating the significance and influence of those arms which do not hold the major planets. {With asteroids and many other planetoids and undiscovered planets, probably every arm can be found to hold something}.

Further, while I know I have certain Aretian tasks to undertake in order to fulfill my dharma, should I also apply myself to Capricornian tasks (as well as Libran and Cancerian tasks) in order to round out the approach to the dharma?

Probably, it would be interesting for each one of us to assess our Sun Sign energy in relation to the energy of the three other arms of the birth Cross, and evaluate the strength and importance of the other three influences. This would be an interesting topic for group consideration.

3. The Orthodox Planets.—These condition the personality. In this case we have Mercury and Jupiter. The twelve houses governed by the planets are likewise of prime importance from the angle of the transmitted energy.

(This is really interesting. He is suggesting that the orthodox planets which ruled the entire Cross condition the personality. Usually, in an esoteric reading,  when we think of what conditions the personality, we may think of:

a. The Sun Sign—representing the ahamkara principle (the principle of “I-ness”)
b. The Moon position (representing the lunar vehicles of the personality)
c. The Mars position (since Mars is associated with the 11th Creative Hierarchy of Lunar Lords, and thus with the personality elementals.
d. The Ascendant, representing exoterically the physical body, over which the personality ray has direct control.
e. And in general, the exoteric planetary rulers of the Sun Sign and Ascendant, as well as of all houses.
g. The planet or planets which particular distribute the personality ray. For instance, a sixth ray personality would look very much to the sign and house and aspects of Mars and Neptune.

But in this tabulation, D.K. is calling special attention to the exoteric rulers of the four arms of the Sun Sign Cross (in this case, the Mutable Cross) as carrying special power to “condition the personality”. This means that in addition to the factors listed above (from a. to g. ), both Mercury and Jupiter as the two rulers of the Mutable Cross would especially condition the personality of the Sagittarian subject. Of course, this would also be the same for a Geminian, Virgoan or Piscean.

How would we go about interpreting these two planets for the personality? Perhaps simply by focusing upon the more orthodox meanings of the two planets. Mercury giving the approach of the concrete mind. And Jupiter simply bringing the satisfaction of desires and success—these are words which D.K. frequently uses in connection with Jupiter.

Now, we have known always that for a Sagittarian it is important to look closely at Jupiter, but had we considered that the status of Mercury was also important in strong measure? Sagittarius can be a sign of travel and of speed, and it is easy to see how Mercury can play a role in relation to conventional Sagittarian themes. Further, Sagittarius is a sign transmitting the fourth ray, and thus this transmission would continue through Mercury and the Moon (representing an undiscovered, non-sacred fourth ray planet.) Later, the intuitive nature of Sagittarius could be easily related to Mercury as a planet of intuition, but intuition is not a subject authentically related to the personality level of demonstration.

From the foregoing thoughts, we see that we have to consider both Jupiter and Mercury as personality co-rulers of the Sagittarian Subject.

4. The Esoteric Planets.—These bring in renewed or increased planetary energy and ray energy in a more dynamic manner. In the case of Sagittarius these energies are Venus, the Moon, the Earth and Pluto.

(From this, we understand that every Sagittarian, simply because the Sun is found in Sagittarius as birth, must consider Venus, the Moon, the Earth and Pluto as co-rulers of his esoteric life demonstration.. To me, this means that, these four planets and the rays which they transmit are of special influence. We might have considered the Earth as the most important esoteric ruler, and perhaps it is. But in every Sagittarian life (from the soul perspective), the following influences would be, it seems, of greater importance than they would be to the disciple born on either the Fixed or Cardinal Cross.

The following quotation taken from the Pisces chapter, pp. 126-127, applies equally to Sagittarius, and includes information on Mercury and Jupiter as well (which can be applied to point number 4):

““Eventually there has to be the complete fusion of love and mind before a world saviour can manifest and function efficiently, and this is pre-eminently the final result of the forces of the Mutable Cross, as they work out the qualities released by the planets active in Pisces, Sagittarius, Virgo and Gemini. These planets are:

Orthodox— – Jupiter and Mercury.
Esoteric – —Pluto. The Earth. The Moon (hiding Vulcan) and Venus.

As you know, Pluto stands for death or the region of death; the Earth stands for the sphere of experience; the Moon or Vulcan stands for the glorification, through purification and detachment, of matter, and Venus stands for the emergence of the love principle through the directing power of the [Page 127] mind. Students will find it interesting to work out the implications for themselves. Orthodox astrology assigns only two planets to these four signs, which in itself indicates a definite interplay. Jupiter and its influences indicate that the way of incarnation is the “beneficent” method of evolutionary unfoldment and that the way of love-wisdom (2nd ray) is the way for humanity to go. Mercury indicates that the line of least resistance for humanity is harmony through conflict, for Mercury expresses the fourth ray energy which is buddhic, intuitional and expressive of the Christ, as Mercury and the Sun are one. But the esoteric planets are more explicit in their inferences and man appears, when ready for their influence, to be responsive in a fourfold way which he is not in the earlier stages. They embody the recognitions and the reactions which condition man’s consciousness when he is preparing to transfer off the Mutable Cross and mount the Fixed Cross. He comes, therefore,

1. Through Venus—under the power of mind, transmuted into wisdom through the instrumentality of love.

2. Through the Moon—under the bondage of form in order through form experience to achieve release and the “uplift of matter” in Vulcan.

3. Through the Earth—under the influence of planetary experience (which is different to individual experience) in order to transmute his personal consciousness into group awareness.

4. Through Pluto —under the destroying power of death—death of desire, death of the personality and of all which holds him between the pairs of opposites, in order to achieve the final liberation. Pluto or death never destroys the consciousness aspect.

Six planets, therefore, govern the Mutable Cross as far as humanity is concerned and this in itself is significant, for six is the number of the great work of the period of manifestation, is the number of “the Beast,” which is the lower nature as far as man is concerned, and is all that which seeks to destroy the higher life, but also that which can be controlled and directed finally by the soul. The significance of numbers enters into this science of esoteric astrology, and numerology, as it is, per se, a branch of esoteric astrology. Love—Mind—Experience—Form—Human Understanding—Death: these are the keynotes of the fourth Creative Hierarchy, the human kingdom and they are embodied in the planetary influences which pour through these planets from their allied signs. Through the activity of these forces which work at this stage through the Mutable Cross, man is brought to a great Crisis of Polarisation and to a point of basic change for which all the earlier and many changes have prepared him.””

Now even though this material was written in relation to the Pisces subject, it has to apply equally to the Sagittarian Subject.

Perhaps, if we are to hierarchicalize the esoteric planetary potencies associated with Sagittarius (just as we might do for the three other signs of the Mutable Cross), we could say that the Earth is the principle esoteric ruler, and is sub-served by Venus, the Moon and Pluto.

The question for us is, “Do we recognize the above mentioned Venus, Moon and Pluto themes as distinctive of the Sagittarian? How do we put a ‘Sagittarian spin’ on the themes of 1) mind transmuted into wisdom through the instrumentality of love: Venus; 2) bondage to form {Moon} and the “uplift of matter” in Vulcan—as D.K. enigmatically states—in Vulcan; 3) the destroying power of all that holds a man between the pairs of opposites: Pluto?

Normally, the esoteric interpretations in an any chart, generically, would include reference to:

a. The Rising Sign and the rays transmitted through it.
b. the esoteric ruler of the Rising Sign
c. the esoteric ruler of the Sun Sign.
d. the planet or planets which transmit the soul ray
e. the esoteric rulers of all houses or twelve arms of all three Crosses combined.

But, according to this more synthetic approach, any Sagittarian subject must give focal consideration to Venus, the Moon, and Pluto, whether or not they are prominent in his chart by sign, house or angular position.

To make an interpretation which is differentiable from that to be offered for a Geminian, Virgoan or Piscean subject, we would have to see how Venus, the Moon and Pluto work for a Sagittarian.  That mind must be transmuted into wisdom; that matter must be uplifted from bondage; and that man must be liberated from the pairs of opposites through the power of death will be a given. But how would a Sagittarian approach the utilization of these necessarily important planets—important because their forces, like the forces of the four arms of the Mutable Cross itself, meet at the mid-way point.

5. The Planetary Ruler of a Hierarchy.—In this particular case, this planet is Mars, ruling the sixth Creative Hierarchy, the lunar Lords (the elementals of the threefold personality) who have to be brought under the control of the solar Lord.

The hierarchical ruler of Sagittarius is extremely accessible, because the Sixth Creative Hierarchy is not remote, but, rather, almost unavoidable. The lunar lords are to ascend, to be uplifted and liberated. One can see how the Sagittarian initiate wielding the aspirational and elevational power of Mars could contribute to the repolarization of the atoms in the three lunar vehicles, and ensure that they serve, completely, the director—the soul. A study of the above will reveal most interesting relationships and prove my point anent the multiplicity of energies to which the wonderful mechanism of man can respond and to which, as evolution proceeds, he can become increasingly sensitive.

D.K.’s point is that we all respond to a multiplicity of energies—far more than we might have imagined by looking at our Sun Sign and its relations in a narrow way.

My main point : I cannot here enter into a detailed analysis of the many energies which pour through the disciple as he arrives at the final stages upon the Mutable Cross, and in Sagittarius achieves the determination to “direct his steps into another way of life and with ardour firm to mount another Cross,” as the Old Commentary puts it. I can only point out that the following ray forces pour onto the man through the medium of the following planets:


| Mercury— – 4th Ray – —Harmony through Conflict.
| Jupiter— – 2nd Ray – —Love-wisdom.

| Venus – —5th Ray— – Concrete Science. Mind.

| The Moon – —4th Ray – —Harmony through Conflict.


| The Earth – —3rd Ray – —Active Intelligence.

| Pluto – 1st Ray – —Destructive aspect.


Mars – —6th Ray – —Devotion. War to the death of the personality or form.

An analysis of this will show that the “forces of conflict” are powerful in this sign, primarily in the life of the disciple. Harmony through Conflict is ceaselessly active and appears in both the orthodox and the esoteric assignments. The destructive power of the first ray, focussed in Pluto, brings change, darkness and death. To this intensity and potency of Pluto must be added the forceful and dynamic energy of the planet Mars. This brings the entire human family, as well as the individual, under the law of strife, based this time upon sixth ray devotion to an ideal, high or low.

All these play upon the individual born in the sign of [Page 188] Sagittarius, as well as upon the fourth Creative Hierarchy as a whole When D.K. speaks of the “forces of conflict”, He is seeing tabulating the ray influence of Mercury, and the Moon and the character of Mars. He is saying that conflict is inherent in the life of every Sagittarian because these planets are associated with Sagittarius because they are rulers of the signs which are the other arms of the Cross upon which Sagittarius is found.

This, you can see for yourself, brings in a terrific situation, and the forces playing upon the disciple are of a momentous nature—provided that the mechanism of awareness is adequate to respond. These forces in all the signs are ever present, but responsiveness and sensitivity to their impact is dependent upon the nature of the response apparatus. Ponder upon this thought, for it is this sensitivity which marks the difference between the disciple and the average man. [EA 185-188]

I only have time now to open the theme for discussion. I have evolved a method for esoteric chart interpretation which takes a more synthetic approach to a sign (as suggested above) into consideration. I will share at least a prototype of this method in a forthcoming letter.

There are some points to be gathered from all this concerning esoteric chart interpretation.

1.  Esoteric chart interpretation must be far more synthetic than we may have believed necessary.

2.  Such interpretation must take into consideration factors which may not be exoterically indicated in the astrological chart.

3. Simply because an individual is a disciple he has a responsibility to work upon the Cross and with the esoteric rulers of his Cross. He must work with these signs and planets whether or not they appear prominent in his astrological chart.

4. Every disciple must be balanced and rounded-out, before his rounded-out causal body can be destroyed at the fourth initiation. By considering the testimony of all members of his birth Cross and all exoteric and esoteric rulers of that Cross, the method of balancing and rounding-out can be more easily deduced.

It is my hope that we may take an orderly approach to developing the themes of esoteric astrology within our group process. As far as I am concerned, the book Esoteric Astrology has not really been fathomed. We could do this, systematically, and organize our discourse upon themes within the book which need real study and penetration.

I will be back to you with more ideas along this line. Also, I have devised study questions for every page of the Esoteric Astrology book. Because we are enjoined to “Enquire the Way”, we could easily grow by proposing questions and then answering them. At some future time, perhaps relatively shortly, I will share some of these questions, and we could, if we choose, see whether we can penetrate them.

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